Yin Yang

Lou and I were talking the other day, about Izzy.  Lou said she just sees Izzy now and can barely remember/believe she’s ever been anyone else.  I said, it seems like something I dreamt – having had a boy.

It’s not a terrible feeling, but it’s strange.

The other day we were doing a bit of art n craft, as ya do, and Izzy decided she needed a frame to display her work.  All of our pictures and photos are sitting in a bag in the cupboard, because we’ve been planning to paint the walls, for the last three years.  Anyway, Izzy grabbed one with a photo of that Dream Boy in it.  She sat at the table, turned the frame over and carefully removed the photo and handed it to me.  My heart was, a little bit, in my mouth so it was difficult to speak, but I managed to ask – what would you like me to do with that Iz?  She looked up thoughtfully, and said – Mum, tuck it away somewhere safe.  I’m going to have a boy and a girl when I’m grown up and I’m going to call the boy *****.  It’s a nice name, she said.

If it feels strange, and like a dream to me, her mum.  What must it feel like for Izzy and for other children just like her.  I’ve noticed lately that she’s become thoughtful rather than angry when she hears reference to the days gone before.  I hope it’s because she’s found a place in her heart to keep those memories and a safe place in her mind to process them.  I hope that as she grows, she’ll hold these experiences in her with grace and use them to accept and love others.

 

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14 comments

  1. “I hope it’s because she’s found a place in her heart to keep those memories and a safe place in her mind to process them”

    Possible but unlikely, I’d say it’s actually for your benefit. Kids learn (early on) by watching and imitation, she watches EVERYTHING about you. Sounds like you’ve a very smart and strong little girl there, and she certainly loves and cares very much about you.

    My heart breaks for you both already, this is not a “fun” life (at least not for me so far).

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  2. Yes, I am speaking from experience. What I’m saying is (I suspect that) she sees your attachment to that “dream” boy and your (natural) sadness at losing him.

    I would give anything to give that person back to my mother (and father, and siblings), she loved him and wanted him very much and she still does (sadly I’ve never felt her want this “me” the same way, I guess it’s hard to truly want something that only makes your life feel harder/more complicated).

    I often thought the same thing, if I could have children I would name one his name in the hope that people might get to have his spirit/soul returned to them, maybe then they could be happy and I could just be who I feel I am, without having to have his shadow following me around all the time and feel like I have to live up to their expectations for him

    But that is for them, not for me, I don’t really feel any major attachment to that boy, although that is who they saw, he was NEVER what I saw.

    A big problem we have is that we can’t delete other people’s memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can see that you’re coming from a place of experience and concern. I’m so sorry the way it sounds things have been/are for you – it must be extremely painful to feel your family loved you more (?) when they thought you were a boy. My heart goes out to you.

      I want to assure you that our situation is different, possibly reading my blog from the beginning you will understand the journey we’ve been on and that might also answer your question on another post asking what makes me think my child might be transgender. I think it’s a good question though, and maybe something I haven’t written about enough.

      But in short, I don’t believe I am attached to ‘that dream boy’ and that’s kinda what Lou and I were talking about and what I was trying to convey in the post. I can’t remember or imagine, anymore, life before knowing my child as my daughter. My point was that transitioning is behind us. It’s done. At least until Izzy approaches puberty. She is a girl to everyone in her life.

      It’s true, I did grieve for the loss of what her name represented, her middle name was my step-fathers and her first name I just loved. But I grieved in private, I cried my tears and once they were out I let go of that and moved on. This happened in that first week after affirming publically and privately that our child is a girl.

      It’s a steep learning curve, parenting in general, but with the suicide and self harm statistics in mind I feel the learning curve of parenting a child through this is even steeper. I feel immense pressure (from myself) to get this right, but there is no handbook, not for any of this parenting gig, and there are going to be mistakes, and believe me I understand the cost.

      I hope this puts your mind at rest, and it may help, to understand that my daughter transitioned at age 4 years 4 months, and before that she expressed herself as she wished wearing girls clothes and using girls names – I’ve let go of the guilt of not understanding this was something deeper than just being a child of very liberal parents, because it’s pointless, we’re just getting on with living.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. (for the record) I’m not here to “guilt” you. This may sound cruel, but what happens to you or Izzy makes absolutely zero difference to me and my life, if either of you die, my life will go on unabated (as Clark Gable famously said: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn). REST EASY, I’m NOT just about everyone else you probably run into on a daily basis in your life and in “internet land”, I KNOW there’s no manual, that’s why I’m trying to help.

    You sound like a good parent, which translates to: you want your child to be happy and settled.

    That “goal” is why I’m commenting, nothing else, that’s why all my comments have been prefaced with: (EG) “take this with a grain of salt”….

    Being able to understand something (in my experience at least), makes that “thing” LESS scary, EASIER to try and handle. there’s a good chance I *AM* that “thing”, difference is I’ve been through everything start to finish, and I can converse with you at an adult level.

    I guarantee you that Izzy (at her age) cares only about you and her dad think. little “hurts” from other people do hurt her a lot, but if you are ok then she knows things will be “alright”, which is why she watches you so closely (whether you realise it or not).

    ~”It’s true, I did grieve for the loss of what her name represented, her middle name was my step-fathers and her first name I just loved. But I grieved in private, I cried my tears and once they were out I let go of that and moved on”~

    Bullshit, if you did then why was:

    ~”My heart was, a little bit, in my mouth so it was difficult to speak”~

    It is NOT possible for a good mother to do that, to just “let go”.

    But here’s a newsflash for you, that’s ok, it’s not a crime to love someone or something.

    Problems arise though, when you expect Izzy to believe that, she needs to see YOU so she can know where her place in the world will be.

    Now my other question/comment:

    Transgender and transsexual are NOT the same thing.

    I was born transsexual. there’s a good chance (given the age at which she presented herself) Izzy was too. I am NOT ashamed of something I had no control over, but I do NOT like that it happened to me, if I could choose for it to have been different I would in a millisecond.

    If you don’t want Izzy to be ashamed of who she is and how she was born then you need to at least be able to face the truth of her (possible) situation and say the word.

    Yes, it is also possible that she will desist and that she is just a gay male (for her sake I hope so). If you where to bet, what would you put your money on?

    All of this get’s much harder as time goes on, you need to grow a much thicker skin, and stop caring so much about what other people think.

    Fuck other people (me included, if need be) is your kid ok? then you haven’t “failed”.

    Peace to you all.

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    • Peace to you too. My kid is thriving. I’d like to leave it at this if that’s okay – “my heart was in my mouth…” because I didn’t know how seeing the photo would affect Izzy. Rachel, it is possible to let go. I felt grief for less than two full days. It’s possible to love your kid so much you don’t give a flying #*#* about anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OK, Rachel, I read your comments out of order and gave you a bit of a lecture on the standard meanings of ‘transsexual’ and ‘transgender’ on LoveOnAStick’s more recent post. Sorry about that. You clearly have a lot of personal experience and have thought about this a lot.

    I’ll be honest: I think commenting here is not terribly helpful (although Izzy’s mum is clearly generous enough to engage). I’ve blogged about my kid’s experiences for two years and have ‘met’ quite a lot of trans people this way. My kid is now 12, wants to tell his story his way, and I plan not to blog about his life too much more. I’ll still blog about me.

    In case it helps, here’s a few things I’ve learned . . .

    Firstly, for most people, a lot of the time, being transgender sucks. It’s not a universal experience but it’s a hard road. I suspect that’s partly why older people who have walked this path speak up on behalf of the young ‘uns coming up behind and I’m grateful for that.

    But it’s a tricky thing. For one thing, when kids are really young, you’re quite right: we don’t know if they’ll ‘persist’. If they’re as clear as Izzy seems, and as my son seems, they probably will. I fear for my son and I’m sure Izzy’s mum fears for Izzy sometimes too. We can read. We know the stats. We know what’s unfolding in the US and around the world. There’s some positive things out there but this is also very very scary.

    So, we’re doing what any loving parents do. We accept. We support. We listen. And, we celebrate. There’s quite a few stories of little gender nonconforming kids out there now and this is mostly great. Parents like this are changing the narrative. We KNOW that being trans can be a giant bowl of pus. We now have some power to change this. So, in our different ways, that’s what we’re trying to do.

    From what you write (and it’s only a little, so I’m guessing), there’s been a lot more pain than joy. Your family are grieving. Maybe so are you. Life is hard. And, whether it’s futile or not, actually I do care. You’re further along a path that looks a bit like my son’s path and it makes my heart hurt. I’m sorry. I hope that doesn’t sound patronising. I don’t want it to. I just hate that it can’t be easy being born transsexual/transgender. I wish it could be a non event, just one fact about a human being which we could all ‘move on’ from.

    I’ve partly written this because I think you’re being a bit harsh on Izzy’s mum. They’re at the beginning of this journey and the one thing that is certain is that it will be different from yours, even at the point where you can relate to one another. Give her space. Let her tell her story her way.

    I notice you haven’t started a blog (or I couldn’t find it). It would be great to hear your story too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Curious Mother, Loveonastick has changed her blog preferences for commenters. I used to comment under my name and link my blog that way, but now I can only comment via a Login-profile type option and (I’m not sure why but) google doesn’t automatically link my blog. It is there to be found however, if you’re willing to sift through a few posts.

      I don’t share much about my story on-line, I’m quite a private person on purpose, privacy facilitates the life that I’ve fought hard for. I’m not in any way trying to take away from Izzy’s mom, anyone who doesn’t shy away from this is pretty incredible in my books, and I’m sorry if I come across “hard”, I had no-one to hold my hand (which is not the fault of anyone here, so please save your “sympathy”), and that taught me that “pity” of any kind is time consuming and counterproductive (and more often than not, shallow and fake). she doesn’t have to be “generous” if she isn’t happy with the things I write, as I said, I’m only trying to be helpful, it won’t make any difference to me if she decides she does not want my brand of “help” and tells me to piss-off. (that in itself might even be therapeutic for her)

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    • I’m certain she is Lou, and I would love to sugar coat all of this and be a “cheerleader” like so many other people online, but the truth is that not all people in life are or will be supportive nor kind, and this stuff IS a huge deal. (not that I probably need to tell anyone here that)

      I’m not a bad or mean person and I’m not here to “beat up” on her (in spite of how things may seem), and I also understand that this is probably her place to “vent” privately and that a person’s actual reality is rarely reflected by what you read in a blog/online.

      If she can’t handle what I say though, here, on a blog, where no-one really knows any of us, (and I’m no-one and nothing important to her) then how will she be able to stand up for herself and her daughter when she’s dealing with someone actually important to their life and future?

      Doctors, psychiatrists, Surgeons? will she be able to question those people? will she be able to be objective? critical of them and what they try to tell / sell her?

      I live this life every single day of my life and I will be the first to tell you that I’m no expert on anyone or anything but myself, so how can some doctor or psychiatrist truly claim to be an expert and know what the best decisions for this are? they haven’t lived a single day of it in their life.

      Surgeons don’t care about you or your child, most doctors don’t either, not really. What they care about is covering their own ass so they don’t get sued, and after that, making enough money to cover the payment on their big impressive house and their new Porsche.

      Loveonastick has one thing in her favour, time. Time is important, time to research, to read anything and everything she can find to meet and scrutinise treating professionals, and find people she can truly trust.

      Much time is (or can be) wasted worrying about what people might think or say about you and the decisions you make, much time is (or can be) wasted feeling sorry for yourself and wishing for life to be “easy” or what it once might have been.

      I’m probably completely wrong about my sense of where she (loveonastick) is at emotionally, I’ve probably made a complete idiot of myself with every comment. That’s ok. I don’t mind too much what people think about me mostly, things aren’t always about me.

      If I am wrong, good, at least having it said to her might make her feel she’s going about things the right way.

      FWIW, I DO care about people. Very much

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